We’ve seen a good number of panorama action cams in the recent past, many sporting angles-of-view of up to 360 degrees in at least one direction. Others, such as the Ricoh Theta, make use of multiple lenses to capture a true, spherical 360-degree image incorporating everything around the camera. Single-lens devices, however, usually tend to be rather large. This is about to change very soon, though, thanks to the 360fly action cam (H/t PetaPixel).
The 360fly is a ball-shaped action cam not much larger than a GoPro, that has a unique top-mounted lens capturing a 360-degree view horizontally and 240 degrees vertically. So while the resulting video isn’t a true, spherical 360 x 360 degrees, the camera does at least provide a very useful all-around view that also includes a significant part of the world below the camera.
So technically speaking, the 360fly’s bright f/2.5 lens is a 240-degree lens if we think in classic photographic terms, but since it’s positioned at the top of the camera, it captures a 360-degree view on the horizontal axis. With its square-shaped, 1,504 x 1,504-pixel sensor, the 360fly records panoramic video that can later be viewed on a smartphone or tablet running Android 4.3 or higher, or iOS 8. The advantage of using a single lens is that there’s no additional stitching of individual video feeds required, meaning that the video the 360fly records is exactly what you’ll get to see later on.
Thanks to its small size, the 360fly is ideally suited for all kinds of outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking, etc. The promotional video (below) shows that it can be mounted to helmets or tripods, and we’d reckon that once it becomes available next spring, there will be many more mounting solutions so you can attach it to your car or your skateboard, for example.
The 360fly weighs just 4.87 ounces (138 grams) and claims a battery life of 2 hours – which isn’t much, but enough to capture your latest snowboarding stunt or your kid’s birthday party. On the upside, it is also waterproof down to 16.4 feet (5 meters) which means that you can also use it to capture your next scuba dive in the Caribbean.
Currently, there’s no pricing information. If you’d like to stay up-to-date about the project and be among the first to get notified when it becomes available, you can register over at the 360fly website.